Social Influence and Book Reviews
Review collecting websites are a relatively new phenomenon providing the ability to collect and publish word of mouth information on a scale that was not possible before. Offline methods of evaluating the credibility of the source are unavailable, so users use various other strategies to evaluate trustworthiness. Consumer reviews for products are rare compared to sales volume. Other forms of consumer feedback are by comparison higher. The study consists of a voluntary survey of users of book related social review sites with questions on both reception and production of reviews. Social influences provide a useful way of approaching the topic, and although both normative and informational social influences are found to have an effect, book reviews are found to differ qualitatively from other review cultures. The results show that social influences are more likely to affect the content of reviews in the form of if, where, and how detailed reviews are written rather than influencing reviews to be more positive or negative.
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